Monday, 14 December 2015

An Excellent Time to Reflect

As Christmas approaches, it is an excellent time to reflect on all that we have achieved.  Since I last wrote, so much has happened.  Thanks to all of you in ensuring that our Open Evenings in October, November and our Open Saturday, were so successful. 

As always, parents and prospective students have made many really positive comments about your enthusiasm, helpfulness and knowledge about all that we do at our college.  This is despite the fact that in some schools, I am led to believe that assemblies are held specifically to say how bad we are.  I guess that line from Oscar Wilde is poignant:

“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

As you know, I am a Bobby D. fan and the words from 'Idiot Wind' come to mind:

"Someone's got it in for (us); they’re planting stories in the press
Whoever it is I wish they'd cut it out but when they will I can only guess.…
People see me all the time and they just can't remember how to act.
Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts (about Wyke)".

I hope that those of you who joined us in September have settled in well, that you are comfortable with how we work and that you have been inspired by our practice.

So many positive things have happened at our college since I last wrote.  I am always amazed about the number of successes that are achieved and that so much goes on. 

Clearly the mocks next week will be an excellent gauge for the amount that you have learned and your likely performance in June.  I really hope that you have made as much effort as possible and that you are well prepared.  I do not accept the argument that "… it is only mocks".  From my experience, the mock results are usually a very good indicator of the eventual grade.  I believe that you should do your absolute best and not think "… if only".  Your time at Wyke is very short and you have to make "the most of it".  There is a great line from a badly dubbed children's television programme which states:

"As long as you have done your best
And no-one can do more…"

So, some of the highlights since my last blog are:

·         being runners-up in the Regional Team Maths Challenge;
·         the Netball County Champions for the fifth year;
·         the selection of Emily Hairsine for the British Colleges’ England netball team;
·         being runners-up in the Bar Mock Trial in Leeds;
·         the boys’ 1st XI and 2nd XI getting to the last 16 of the national cup competition;
·         the large number of students on interview at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, medicine, dentistry and veterinary courses;
·         working with the 5 fabulous students who are taking part in the Youth Speaks Competition;
·         over 600 applications through UCAS for universities;
·         the impeccable behaviour of our students during Remembrance Day, and the performance of the “Last Post” by Christine Longman.  I felt so proud;
·         our Winter Showcase and the tremendous variety of talent and acts performed;
·         the numerous trips and visits organised by departments.

I do feel really privileged to be part of our College and so proud of the behaviour and tolerance that I witness every day.  Long may that continue.

When I think beyond our College, my thought invariably turns to my beloved Leeds United.  I think that it is going to be a long hard season and my initial optimism (like all long-standing fans) has been severely dented by the "short-termism" on show barring some ‘freakish’ results like those last week.

I do worry about some of the events happening nationally and their consequences:

·         the bombings in Paris;
·         the airstrikes in Syria;
·         the cutbacks in the public sector - social care, health, transport, local government and education - announced in the "comprehensive" Spending Review;
·         the dreadful flooding in Scotland and Cumbria;
·         the corruption at FIFA.

My hope is that you will come to terms with many of these and find solutions that many of my generation fail to comprehend.  I do know that it is not an age phenomenon but surely many of these events could and should have been avoided.  As young people, you need to debate, discuss and be passionate about these occurrences.  They are not inevitable.  I am so pleased that our large screen in the atrium brings the national and international perspective into our College.  We are a Hull college and a world College.

Enjoy Christmas, have a wonderful break with your family and friends.  Come back safely and when you return, after the Winter Solstice (shortest day), we will have more daylight and "longer" days.